Sacred Heart seeks revenge on Merrimack
Sacred Heart (16-11, 9-5) vs. Merrimack (18-10, 12-3)
Hammel Court, North Andover, Massachusetts; Friday, 5 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Sacred Heart seeks revenge on Merrimack after dropping the first matchup in Fairfield. The teams last faced each other on Jan. 2, when the Warriors outshot Sacred Heart 43.1 percent to 39.6 percent and had nine fewer turnovers en route to a 65-57 victory.
SENIOR STUDS: Merrimack’s Juvaris Hayes, Jaleel Lord and Idris Joyner have collectively accounted for 48 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 50 percent of all Warriors points over the last five games.
SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Hayes has had his hand in 55 percent of all Merrimack field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has eight field goals and 28 assists in those games.
SCORING THRESHOLDS: Merrimack is 8-0 when scoring at least 68 points and 10-10 when falling shy of that total. Sacred Heart is 14-0 when it puts up 74 or more points and 2-11 on the year, otherwise.
TWO STREAKS: Sacred Heart has won its last three road games, scoring 81.7 points and allowing 67.3 points during those contests. Merrimack has won its last six home games, scoring an average of 68 points while giving up 61.2.
DID YOU KNOW: The Merrimack defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 26.9 percent of all possessions, which is the fourth-highest rate in the country. Sacred Heart has turned the ball over on 20.2 percent of its possessions (ranked 256th among Division I teams).